Helicopters above the Knesset
Helicopters above the KnessetHezki Baruch

The transformative power of the October 7 pogrom has been the subject of awe filled depictions and recollections. Stories of heroism abound, as do anecdotes of eye-opening realizations – ranging from the political to the spiritual.

We have tracked the amazing heroics of our soldiers, individually and collectively. We stand in awe of the 180 degree overnight change in our society as acrimonies over issues which now seem like distant memories were not just laid aside, but were discarded in favor of a unified determination to win.

Nowhere has the intensity of change been so profoundly felt as among those who have put their lives on hold in order to serve their country. While the IDF has always been Israel’s great melting pot, the current war has combined the diversity of a broad spectrum of our society with the singlemindedness of unprecedented degrees of combat.

The granular intensity of the mission has made prior disagreements seem small and irrelevant. Soldiers have discovered in each other the brotherhood of being the protectors of their families, communities and, by extension, their nation.

Their voices are being heard over and over again: we must continue until we have won. We cannot stop until our mission is accomplished. We cannot allow our brothers’ sacrifices to have been in vain. Rather, we must sanctify their sacrifice with victory.

These are not October 6th sentiments. There is no hidden agenda to either indict or to exculpate the Prime Minister, the governing coalition, the opposition or the leadership of the IDF, security and/or intelligence services.

The focus is on the welfare of the nation, the ability of our citizens to sit peacefully under their own fig trees. The realization that the overriding raison d’etre for the State of Israel – to be a safe haven for individual Jews and for the Jewish People – was shown to be vulnerable, tenuous and even questionable, was a mindset altering shock.

This sense of vulnerability and tenuousness had the counter-intuitive effect of having hundreds of thousands of soldiers saying, well then, we have to re-create that strength, that security, that sense of sovereign autonomy.

Stories of soldiers analogizing themselves and their brothers to the generation of ’48 were not an attempt to usurp the latter’s importance. Quite the opposite. What has been perceived is a respectful appreciation of the magnitude of the task of their forebears, and a recognition that today, this generation is being once again called on to secure the future for a State of Israel.

This is a civic, national, even existential awakening. It is not political in the more mundane sense of things, but rather a recognition that victory must first be won on the battlefield and then ultimately on the home front.

Not knowing who specifically, it seems clear that we are hearing the voices of a new generation of societal leaders. It is inconceivable that having seen the abyss, and having plunged into it in order to emerge with a restored, even reconstituted society, that these soldiers will blithely return to their former lives and their former ways of thinking about their country.

What we are doing on the battlefield is not just raising a new generation of heroes, but also a new generation of societal fiduciaries. These will be those who, with the cleanest of hands, will demand integrity, consistency and widespread, across the board benefit for our citizens.

This fiduciary posture will pervade our society, from our communities to our board rooms, to the various bodies of political leadership. It promises to bring a breath of fresh perspective and resolve, not unlike the out of the box, against all conventional wisdom, way that these selfsame soldiers have approached the enemy on the battlefield.

I look forward to reading retrospectives from these emerging leaders, ruminating about the Divine Providence that bestowed a painful, but ultimately loving punch to both the gut and head of Israeli society in the form of the October 7th pogrom. And how, counter-intuitively this punch became the catalyst for the revival and renewal of Israeli society.

This will be the Zionist “day after,” the rise of a new, revitalized generation imbued with a sense of mission, of can-do determination, and a love of and appreciation for the nation they will be serving.

Listen closely and hear their voices. It is a beautiful chorus.

Douglas Altabef is Chairman of the Board of Im Tirtzu and a Director of the Israel Independence Fund.